Writing the Story When You Don’t Know How it Ends

13 Jan

1488888_1451583625061900_1369983364_nI am one of those writers who never know how their stories end. I start a story that has interesting characters and then, after following them along to end, I am often surprised. I like writing that way; there is a certain element of adventure in it.

I know many writers who have a great story in their heads but because they don’t have an ending, they never write it. Isn’t that silly? If there is a higher being and he/she created the world, I like to think that’s how they did it too…they created the Universe and now they just sit back and watch wondering where it will all end. The reason? Because that’s what the creators of worlds do.

When you figure out your ending before you write your story you tend to write your story towards that end and in doing so you cheat yourself and your characters. It’s kind of like seeing the drawer filled with junk before you put the junk in the drawer…how do you know it will fit? The truth is, you make it fit and if there is something that doesn’t fit, you throw it out…in story telling that is a really bad thing.

When you write to an end you are literally making your story “fit” into your preconceived notion of what the story is. You aren’t allowing your characters to develop the story, you are forcing it and your readers can tell when a story is forced. For instance, let’s say you have a story about Doug and in the end of your story Doug dies. What if Doug might have met just the right girl and then she was able to go to medical school and save Doug? We would never know because you already killed Doug. Poor Doug has his life and the end of it already mapped out. Not to mention that Doug will never really take any chances in your story because, why should he…he’s gonna die anyways.

Can you see what I am saying here? Writing the end first takes away from the rest of your story and it ends it before your characters can even get started. I’m not saying that it’s bad to have an idea where you think the story may end; what I am saying is don’t force it into that ending. If you are writing a truly good story, it will write itself and if you’re lucky, where it ends will surprise you too.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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